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Camino del norte April 2009

Izant

New Member
Hi all
After reading all the comments about Camino del Norte my wife and I decided to change our plans and not to repeat the Camino Frances but rather to walk del Norte from Irun to Oviedo and then on Camino Primitivo on to Santiago and Finisterre. We will start on April 21 and hope to finish on May 29. We arrive at Biarritz airport at 11:30 on April 20 and then have to get to Irun. We know that there are buses and trains running on this route but would like to know if we can catch a bus directly from the airport at Biarritz to Irun (or Hendaye). Is there anybody out there who can help to confirm the above or perhaps even have a timetable? We are considering to either sleep over at Irun or perhaps immediately start walking when we get there if there is still enough daylight and if we can organise a pilgrims passport in time. Is anybody else planning to walk del Norte around this time? We did encounter the crowds on our previous camino in April/May 2006 and it seems as if the foot traffic is not so hectic on del Norte. We have done a lot of research and have used two booklets published by the CSJ on the topic, as well as the Spanish guide "El Camino de Santiago del Norte". What seems to be lacking is more information about albergues along the way. Can anybody assist with this?
Many thanks
Izant
 
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Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
The two most up-to-date sites I've found for albergues on the first half of the Norte are:

http://www.caminosnorte.org/cnalbergues.html#
http://www.caminodelnorte.org/albergues.html (Note that the last few albergues are off the Norte)

Consumer/Eroski's site is also useful, though not always up to date - http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/los ... del-norte/

The biggest problem you're going to encounter is that many albergues on the Norte, especially the first half of it (and apparently all of Bizkaia) are not open until May at best, and sometimes not until July. You'll find other places to stay, but it will cost more.

I have learned that the Gernika albergue is currently closed. The turismo hopes that it will reopen in the near future, but there are no guarantees. Gernika has hotels, but if you want something cheaper, you may need to continue to the public albergue in Morga - http://www.albergue-meakaur.com/

Dave
 

jprogers

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2005
Ptgse 2007 Norte 2009 Ingles 2011
Vasco del 2013 Ourense to SdC 2016
Invierno? 2020
Hi there
Four years ago we arrived at Biarritz airport and a bus from just outside the airport went on a loop to Bayonne Anglet and Biarritz. I have a link below to the airport which may also help with other info. If you can get to the train station at Biarritz then there are trains to go further on to Hendaye and Irun..the website of the sncf will help with the timetable for the day.

http://www.biarritz.aeroport.fr/index.p ... d-car-park
http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-train
Cheers Jill
 

deepfat

New Member
Hi, I'm flying to Biarritz on April 3rd and plan to catch the train from the airport to Hendaye. It costs €4.40 and takes about 25 minutes. Thanks also for the posts on accomodation. Hopefully they'll be open! Our paths probably won't cross but I look forward to leaving some messages of support. Hope all your prep's going well.

Buen Camino
Michael
 

Izant

New Member
Hi Dave, Jill and Michael

Thanks to you all for the very useful information and especially the links to the albergue websites, Dave. Like Michael, my wife and I also hope that the albergues will be open (and not full!). From what we saw on the websites, some of the albergues have very few beds. We assume that the alternative accommodation would include hotels (where we do not really want to stay) and hostals etc. Other acceptable places to overnight would be casa rurals and even camping (if tents are provided). Both the latter will probably be available on the route?

For now, we will continue with our research (part of the fun) and do our daily 10-15 km walk in preparation.

Adios
Izant
 
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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Has anyone walked from Biarritz to Irun? What's it like - is there pathway or is it mostly carretera?

lynne
 

Ants

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances(2006) camino del norte(2010)camino portugues(2015)camino via de la plata(2017)
hi, it sounds that you are ready to go..all the very best to you my wife and i walked the camino frances in march & april 2006...now i would like to walk the camino del norte and with a little luck it may even be this year...will you write a blog along the way if so please let me know ,to both of you all the very best be safe and say hello to santiago for me
 

jl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Just found these 2 guides on the CSJ website.

Les Voies de Tours et de Vézelay et 'l'Oberstrasse'
Compiled by Louis Laborde-Balen and les Amis du Chemin de St Jacques des Pyrénées Atlantiques. 2000. (Guides du Bourdon #3)

This guide covers the section from Bordeaux to Saint-Palais on the Tours route; and Bazas to St Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Vézelay route. The Oberstrasse links the Arles route (where it turns south-west at Lescar) to the le Puy route at Arthez and the Vézelay route at Orthez.

Price: £9.00

Les Voies d'Occident à travers le Pays Basque
Compiled by Louis Laborde-Balen and les Amis du Chemin de St Jacques des Pyrénées Atlantiques. 2000. (Guides du Bourdon #2)

This guide covers the coastal route from Bayonne to Hendaye and onwards to Zumaia; the route from Bayonne to Pamplona through the Baztan valley; and a number of smaller linking routes

Price: £9.00
 

Izant

New Member
Hi Ants, thanks for the good wishes. I hope that you and your wife will be able to do del Norte this year. Your suggestion that we do a blog when we go is a good idea. We are not sure about the availability of internet on the way, especially when we get to the Camino Primitivo section (Oviedo to Santiago) but we would like to share our experiences with others even it is after we get back.
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
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giorgio

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
Hallo Izant, we've walked the way from Bilbao to Oviedo and Santiago last May.
As you say albergue capacity is often limited. Internet is available in major towns and even then is not so widespread. About albergues a few notes
Pobena very good
El pontarron basic
Guemes don't miss it! a real pilgrim evening !
S Vincente don't miss it
la isla good
along the camino primitivo no internet
Oviedo opens at 7pm
Albergue a Grandas horrible go to hotel in front
Lugo very good from here alternative route to Friol (hostal)and Sobrado (great albergue in monastery)
If need more details let me know . Ciao from Italy
Giorgio
 

Izant

New Member
Hi Giorgio, thanks for the albergue info. We are making notes and updating our plans. What was the weather like when you walked the Norte in May last year? Here in South Africa the weather is currently a bit upside down with unusual weather patterns and lots of rain. I hope that we will see more sun than rain during our Camino in April/May. Bye, Izant.
 

giorgio

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
Hallo Izant,
last year may was abit more rainy than usual, we were told. Almost every day we had a little shower, lasting a few minutes but nothing really bad . Only once we had to stop to let it pass away. Cannot tell about april. Let me go thru my notes and will be back with more details. Remember one thing , during the semana santa (holy week) you might get a little bit of spanish tourist/pilgrims along the route and this could be a problem as albergues capacity is limited
Ciao Giorgio
 

giorgio

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
A few more notes...
Santillana ,tourist place, new albergue small but good
Llanes albergue in old train station in center of town good
Ribadesella no albergue, many hostales
S Salvador monastery albergue
Vega de sariego good albergue nice restaurant
Venta do escamplero albergue just refurbished internet (no WB) good restaurant
Cornellana good albergue in old monastery
Tineo large albergue but full (this is the beginning of the 'mountain' section ,so always rather busy with spanish hickers) many hostales
Pola de allende nice large albergue
Fonsagrada nice albergue, a bit old, a bit out of town
O cadavo splendid new albergue
Need anything else ?
Giorgio
 

Izant

New Member
24 days to go before we fly out to Biarritz... can't wait!
In addition to Giorgio's comments above (thanks Giorgio!) we are still gathering a lot of information. One small question at this stage which someone may be able to help with. From Lugo we intend to walk to Arzua via Sobrado dos Monxes and not the conventional Lugo-Palas de Rei or Lugo-Melide routes. We are not sure if this stretch forms part of the formal Camino with way markers or if it will involve walking on secondary local roads. We understand that the monastery at Sobrado is really worthwhile visiting and that it also offers accommodation to pilgrims.
Izant.
 
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mdefrayne

Member
Hi Izant,

Drop us a line once in a while. Keep us posted on your experience and findings. My wife and I will be walking the Camino Norte in mid-June.

Buen Camino,
Mark
 

giorgio

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
Hallo Izant,
we also did walk thru Sobrado. Really nice walk. Inn the albergue in Lugo they'll be able to give you details on the way and copy of maps to follow on the way. In a couple of points they should have put a few more markings,but overall it's ok.
Wish you a great walk
Giorgio
 

Izant

New Member
After months of planning and preparation we are flying out today (19 April 2009) to start our Camino on Tuesday at Irun! Our itinerary takes us from Durban in South Africa via Johannesburg to Paris and then on to Biarritz where we will take the train to Hendaye and finally cross the bridge to arrive at Irun, a journey of 27 hours. The weather reports indicate improved conditions on the Spanish coast so we hope to see some sun when we start on Tuesday! Thanks to everybody on this forum who has contributed some advice or information, it makes planning so much easier. We will share our experiences here whenever we can. Our first Camino in 2006 commenced at St Jean and when we arrived at Biarritz airport all the taxis quickly got grabbed by business people and we had to take the bus to Bayonne to catch the train to St Jean. This time, also because there is no direct bus from Biarritz airport to Biarritz station, we intend to walk there. We checked on Google and it looks like a walk of 5 km. A nice way to get going (although some distance of the road seems to be quite busy with lots of traffic).
Buen Camino to all our fellow pilgrims.
Izant (Izak and Antoinette).
 

mdefrayne

Member
Howdy,

I hope you have a wonderful journey! Please drop a line once in a while, keep us posted on your whereabouts and progress. Have a great pilgrimage!

Buen Camino,
Mark
 

Ants

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances(2006) camino del norte(2010)camino portugues(2015)camino via de la plata(2017)
dear izant
now that you have started,with one foot in front the of the other with a few more steps you will be in santiago de compostela .have a lot of fun along the way...Antoinette & Izak have a safe journey...the ants
 
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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Izant said:
We are not sure if this stretch forms part of the formal Camino with way markers or if it will involve walking on secondary local roads. We understand that the monastery at Sobrado is really worthwhile visiting and that it also offers accommodation to pilgrims.
Izant.

In the albergue of Lugo you can ask José Antonio, the hospitalero, he can provide you with a map of Lugo and the way to get the arrows to Palas, Melide or Sobrado.

To Sobrado you have to go first to Friol, and I thing there's a lot of roads but with not many traffic. He will explain you.

When I was there one month ago I met a southafrican group (8 pilgrims) who where walking quite close to me all the time.

Buen Camino, enjoy Sobrado, it's great!!

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

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